About 2 weeks ago I went to Baco Raton, FL for an AmeriCorps retreat. We had a 3 day event, held at the FAU campus.
The campus is decent, but I only really saw a small portion of it. The retreat was a learning experience, and an overall fun one. The days were spent in and out of sessions on different topics pertaining to the AmeriCorps experience. I felt it was a much more beneficial training than the previous one in Atlanta. I finally got to meet all the other VISTA volunteers serving in Miami. Getting to Boca Raton, was an interesting experience. I finally had one of my first public transportation experiences in America. I took the Tri-rail, which starts in Miami-Dade and goes to Palm County. Getting to the rail station was more difficult than actually taking the train. Living in North Miami put me close to the station, which is nice, not having to drive far, but it was the in the ghetto.
There is “public” parking, but consist of only 20 spots, which are all full on a Monday morning. After conferring with a fellow volunteer, i decided to leave my car, and hope for the best. In the end it was fine, but I get nervous about leaving my belongings in an unfamiliar place for the first time. The tri-rail was such a nice train!
On our last day we did a direct service project. Everyone was divided into 6 different projects. My group went to the local YMCA. We helped the teachers during their teacher work day. We literary pulled everything out of their classrooms washed it, cleaned the room and put everything back in the class. They were switching their summer classrooms into the fall. We also color organized the entire craft closet. There were about 10 volunteers along with 5 teachers, and we accomplished all their cleaning for their entire week in just 3 hours! I think I washed enough plastic fruit for a lifetime!
Other groups participated in beach clean up, mowing yards at the soup kitchen, worked at the butterfly garden. It was nice to physically do some volunteer work in the community.